What is Dynamic DNS and why you needed one?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dynamic DNS

In the era of internet, we can’t run away from getting a domain name. I will tell you what is dynamic DNS and why you needed a domain name. First of all, we all would have experience the internet either from the comfort of our home or while on the road with a mobile internet subscription.

When you subscribe to a broadband plan as a home users then you will be assigned a public IP address every time we restart the router.  So, whats wrong with getting a random IP address every time the router restarted? It is like having your home address changed every now and then. How would that effect the postman that is going to delivery mail/goods to you?  So, back to the dynamically assigned public IP address; in order to resolve this problem there are many Dynamic DNS service providers like no-ip, dyndns, and so on (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_managed_DNS_providers) that you could subscribe to and solve the problem.

For a layman users, you have less choices as it will depend mostly on the router that you are using.  The router would have a list of dynamic DNS providers that you could choose.  Then configure your domain name with user credentials. So, it will be the router responsibility to update the Dynamic DNS provider after each re-connection or IP address change. If you are more tech savvy, then you could have some of the SBC which is up 24 x 7 which can do the job of updating the Dynamic DNS provider periodically, i.e. cronjob (a kinda unix job scheduler)

Why do you needed one?

More and more use-cases are cropping up as more commercial IoT or smart devices are available to the consumers. Things like IP based CCTV, google home mini, smart rice cooker, intelligent/smart locks, robot cleaners, fridge (coming soon), IP based switch, smart lighting, and the list goes on. So, all these gadgets of the now and future will require a digital address which is our domain name. In order for us to control them even when we are half way across the globe.


Setting your own blogging/web hosting site

Reading Time: 4 minutes

There are many ways to use a fully hosted blogging site or install/ setup your own blogging site. Well, I’ve chosen the later as part of a self challenge.

As the internet is full of resourceful materials, it doesn’t take a real genius to accomplish these tasks.

All you will need is the following:

  1. A 24×7 machine, it can be any left unused PCs, laptops or better still some card sized single board computers (SBC). If you have not heard of SBC, it all started to get popular after the introduction of Rasberry Pi (https://www.raspberrypi.org/) back in February 2012. But for my case, I’ve chosen the odroid c2, some old toy which is left unattended for sometime since 2015.
  2. Choosing an operating system to be installed on the SBC. In my case was a odd operating system which I’m pretty new to. It is archlinux, for more information, you could visit (https://archlinuxarm.org/). The benefit of this operating system is that it is on a rolling release. What that means is you would never needed a major upgrade unlike the familiar windows, or ubuntu linux where you get a major release every 3 or 4 years.
  3. After setting up the operating system, you would then need the next layer which is the database. In my case, I’ve MySQL(10.1.37-MariaDB).
  4. Then it is the fun time to install wordpress, you can install either the piece meal way or using docker container. I have read some articles that doing the piece meal way will be more efficient and save some memory. However, I’ve given a try to install using docker container for wordpress as there are quite some software components that will get you pulling hair in the process (php, mysql, apache). The LAMP stack which stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. But by doing the docker container way, it save me all the effort of installing PHP and Apache. I’ve only got to integrate it to the MySQL which I’ve installed earlier. Getting to know the docker way of networking is good challenge by itself, LOL.
  5. Then if you have figured out how to get access to the docker container host network (IP address and port number), you have almost got everything ticked.
  6. A domain name, I’ve subscribe a free domain service from dot tk (http://www.dot.tk).  All you need is to access the host IP address and port number of the docker container to get the wordpress installation started. In my case it is (https://vincetham.tk), as we have multiple 443/SSL services within our local network. My son Ivan (http://pickfire.tk) has a h2o service that performs redirection and security checks for incoming 443/SSL traffic.
  7. Setup your router to port forward a port to the internal IP and port number of the wordpress.
  8. Final touch is the testing from public internet. Walla, it worked.